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A nifty paean to Halloween, TRICK ‘R TREAT is reminiscent of CREEPSHOW but still manages to breathe some clever twists into the horror anthology genre. 

The film features intertwined stories of terror that happen during All Saints’ Day and include a group of youngsters who use an urban legend to prank one of their group only to discover too late that some legends are true; a high school Principal (Dylan Baker) who has figured out a bloody new way to discipline his students; a surly old man (Brian Cox) who discovers the real difference between “Trick or Treat”; and finally a nubile young Red Riding Hood (Anna Pacquin) who has set her sights on loosing her virginity. 

These stories are framed with the story of a woman (Leslie Bibb) with no love for the holiday that is treated to the true Halloween spirit. 

Asking nothing more of the audience than to sit back and enjoy the fun romp, TRICK ‘R TREAT delivers on that promise. It doesn’t over think or try to be too clever with the stories. They’re all pretty straight forward and there’s nothing wrong with that.The cast does a fine job as does director Michael Dougherty who clearly understands the fun side of horror. Also standing out are some terrific practical make-up FX. It’s always refreshing to see VFX handled with proper “old school” panache and the ones in the film don’t disappoint. 

There’s not much more to say. At barely feature length (82 min. including credits) TRICK ‘R TREAT never overstays its welcome. So, if you’re a fan of horror films and especially anthologies than curl up with a soda and some popcorn (and don’t forget your candy) and enjoy this thoroughly entertaining amuse-bouche.

AUGUST 20, 2014